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Thursday, July 18, 2024

The star-studded graduates of Italy’s junior collection powerhouse

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With 4 many years of success behind it, 2023 marked an necessary anniversary for Prema Racing. Based by Angelo Rosin in Vicenza, Italy, in 1983, it started with a foray into prototype racing earlier than swiftly switching to single-seaters the next yr. It was in 1990 when it could first style title success, with Roberto Colciago’s Italian Formulation 3 coronation proving the primary of many championships to return.

Perception: The mindset that keeps a prolific F1 talent factory winning titles

With 39 drivers’ titles and 25 groups championships underneath its belt, Prema is undeniably one among junior collection’ most profitable outfits – and a byword for status within the paddock amongst drivers and groups alike. Having now competed in 13 collection – a quantity which continued to develop final yr with its F1 Academy entry – dozens of outstanding names have raced for the crew, together with 1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, Alpine driver Esteban Ocon and Toyota World Endurance Championship star Kamui Kobayashi.

Eight present F1 drivers competed with Prema in some unspecified time in the future of their careers, many happening to win titles, and all level to its close-knit really feel as a purpose for its success, together with Ferrari star Charles Leclerc – who despatched a video message that was performed at a star-studded gala in Venice final month mark the event.

This is what a few of these notable names needed to say about their time with the crew.

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Jacques Villeneuve

Picture by: Sutton Photos

Villeneuve credit his time at Prema as being a time of studying

Prema years: 1989-1991
Sequence: Italian Formulation 3

“My Prema journey began in 1988. I’d simply bought into racing and we simply began testing for the primary season in 1989 in Formulation 3. These had been my first experiences in motor racing. It was a tremendous time, as a result of I used to be 18 years {old}, studying Italian and discovering a complete new world. On the time, Angelo was additionally engineering the crew. He was like a father determine to me and I discovered loads. My team-mates had expertise, they had been older than me as properly, so it was actually good life faculty. I noticed Rene as a very small child, and now he’s positively a special individual, working the crew. So sure, over time we’ve all the time stored in contact.”

Roberto Colciago

Colciago has only positive memories of winning Prema's first title

Picture by: Prema Powerteam

Colciago has solely Positive reminiscences of profitable Prema’s first title

Prema yr: 1990
Accolades: 1990 Italian Formulation 3 champion

“My Prema story is fantastic, as a result of I gained the Italian title in 1990, so a protracted, very long time in the past. We had actually an amazing yr and ultimately we gained the championship. It was a improbable crew of improbable folks, I actually loved that yr and discovered loads concerning the automobile. It’s an amazing factor to be the primary champion for Prema, however I can see them actually develop up within the years. Many, many drivers, loads going into Formulation 1. It’s a improbable crew with improbable folks.”

Ryan Briscoe

Briscoe remembers A1-Ring double was crucial in arresting a mini-slump on the way to winning 2003 Euro Series F3 title

Picture by: Andre Irlmeier / Motorsport Images

Briscoe remembers A1-Ring double was essential in arresting a mini-slump on the best way to profitable 2003 Euro Sequence F3 title

Prema years: 2000-2003
Accolades: 2001 Italian Formulation Renault champion; 2003 Formulation 3 Euro Sequence champion

“It was the start of my racing profession out of go-karts, as for therefore many drivers that come up by means of the ranks. Finish of 2000, I had my first races with Prema in Formulation Renault. We did the Winter Sequence and I used to be a part of the Toyota Drivers’ Academy. So an enormous step for me in my profession, by no means thought I may make it to race automobiles and Angelo and Grazia [Troncon, Angelo’s wife] had been an enormous half in educating me a lot.

“We gained lots of races collectively, so many nice reminiscences, and for a time that expanded to a few, virtually 4 years. I didn’t know I used to be the primary double champion for Prema, however it’s nice. So many nice races that we had and we gained two championships collectively, so unbelievable. So many nice reminiscences, a lot good meals. I bear in mind Giorgio the {cook}.

“I bear in mind so many unbelievable races as properly. I believe there was a pivotal level which I give Angelo a lot credit score for – in 2003 within the Euro Sequence, we began the yr actually sturdy after which a 3rd of the best way by means of the yr we had a very troublesome spherical on the Nurburgring and didn’t have a superb consequence. I bear in mind we spent two days on the race store and Angelo was simply grilling me, the engineers, everybody that we needed to repair the issue.

“We modified all the things on the race automobile, the geometry on the suspension, simply poring over knowledge. We went to the subsequent spherical on the A1 Ring and dominated and gained each races. It actually got here all the way down to Angelo’s will to win and do no matter it takes and I’ve carried that my complete profession.”

Kamui Kobayashi

A Toyota junior like Briscoe, Kobayashi put his name on the map with 2005 FR2.0 Eurocup title

Picture by: Sutton Photos

A Toyota junior like Briscoe, Kobayashi put his title on the map with 2005 FR2.0 Eurocup title

Prema years: 2004-2005
Accolades: 2005 Formulation Renault Eurocup champion

“It was 20 years in the past when my Prema story started. I used to be 16 or 17 after I first got here to Italy, I’m at the moment 37. I labored with Prema for 2 years and I gained the Formulation Renault championship with them. On the time, the championship was actually aggressive, the crew did an amazing job and I believe our achievements made one thing change within the crew’s historical past. I’m very proud to be part of this crew. Prema continues to be such an enormous crew and such a superb crew and I’m actually pleased.”

Edoardo Mortara

Mortara got his start in single-seaters with Prema, and is now working with the squad again on Lamborghini's LMDh effort

Picture by: Edd Hartley

Mortara bought his begin in single-seaters with Prema, and is now working with the squad once more on Lamborghini’s LMDh effort

Prema yr: 2006
Sequence: Eurocup and Italian Formulation Renault

“I began in components racing with Prema in 2006. I bear in mind switching to single-seaters after a protracted profession in karting, and I had the prospect to work with this crew. We ended up [later] having lots of fights in opposition to one another, however I’ll all the time bear in mind my first season and so they taught me a lot. Seventeen years later, we’re again working collectively on one other undertaking [the Lamborghini LMdh programme] and it feels fairly particular. It’s an enormous pleasure for me to be right here but additionally to say an enormous thanks to the whole Prema household. It’s been a pleasure to be part of this crew.”

Esteban Ocon

Ocon beat stiff opposition to win the 2014 F3 European title, including Verstappen, with Prema

Picture by: Motorsport Images

Ocon beat stiff opposition to win the 2014 F3 European title, together with Verstappen, with Prema

Prema years: 2013-2014
Accolades: 2014 Formulation 3 European champion

“My time with Prema began on the finish of 2013, actually, after I made the change to Formulation 3. I believe that’s precisely the second when my profession switched to second gear. That’s after I met improbable folks, a improbable household, individuals who I nonetheless see at times and maintain involved with.

“Prema is a improbable crew, a crew which can without end stay in my coronary heart and so they modified my profession. Profitable that Formulation 3 title in opposition to Max [Verstappen], in opposition to Tom Blomqvist, in opposition to all these guys made an enormous distinction. It was nice on the time. I used to be 17. I bear in mind consuming lots of pizza, doing a little dangerous cooking on my aspect as properly.

“It was the start of simply being alone on the market and making an attempt to reside the racing life and it taught me lots of issues working with these folks, being near the manufacturing unit, being on daily basis with the engineers. It was mega, as a result of we succeeded in what we wished to do. I’ve so many good reminiscences, from profitable the title in Imola to celebrating my birthday Prema-style is all the time particular.”

Antonio Fuoco

Ferrari Hypercar ace Fuoco enjoyed three years with Prema, each in different categories, and relished its family atmosphere

Picture by: Motorsport Images

Ferrari Hypercar ace Fuoco loved three years with Prema, every in several classes, and relished its household ambiance

Prema years: 2013-2014, 2017
Accolades: 2013 Formulation Renault ALPS champion

“I began my profession with Prema in Formulation Renault in 2013, we gained the primary championship collectively after which I moved into Formulation 3 with them. I believe Prema is greater than a crew, it’s like a household. We stayed involved and I’ve met within the paddock with Rene, Grazia, Angelo, Angelina [Rene’s wife]. It’s fairly a particular crew and it’s good to see so many individuals right here tonight, so many drivers, so it’s super-good. Profitable the championship again in 2013 was a improbable expertise after which even transferring as much as Formulation 2 was good and I made it with Prema. I’m pleased to be right here tonight to share all these {old} moments with all of them – I’ve seen so many individuals, mechanics, engineers.”

Nick Cassidy

Opportunities in winning cars gives Cassidy fond memories of his time at Prema

Picture by: Motorsport Images

Alternatives in profitable automobiles offers Cassidy fond reminiscences of his time at Prema

Prema years: 2015-2016
Sequence: Formulation 3 European Championship

“My Prema story is sort of a pleasant one, sadly brief – I used to be right here a yr and a half from 2015 to 2016 in Formulation 3. I simply had a tremendous time and I used to be very, very lucky. Wanting round now, you see the historical past and what they’ve finished since, it’s fairly unimaginable. I used to be fairly fortunate with Prema that we had been all the time in a aggressive automobile. Each weekend, there was an opportunity to win. Quite a lot of alternative. So I all the time look again at it as one thing which made it attainable for me to have knowledgeable profession in motorsport and for that I’m fairly grateful.”

Callum Ilott

Ilott believes his results in 2017 were underwhelming by Prema boss Rosin's high standards

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Ilott believes his leads to 2017 had been underwhelming by Prema boss Rosin’s excessive requirements

Prema yr: 2017
Sequence: Formulation 3 European Championship

“I believe it began on the aircraft on the best way to an Abu Dhabi check in 2016. I used to be sat subsequent to the large boss, Rene, and I believe he was saying how pressured he was – bless him – and that’s the way it started. I then competed within the Formulation 3 European Championship and completed fourth, which I believe was underwhelming for Rene, however that’s life! It was good, they introduced me into the household, they handled me properly, and it’s wonderful to see the success that they’ve had and the expansion they proceed to have. You get handled as household when you’ve been a driver, it’s all a part of the enjoyable. I believe typically Rene likes being overwhelmed – it’s a little bit of an announcement once you do beat them!”

Robert Shwartzman

Shwartzman conquered FIA F3 title and welcomed the team's support during a difficult spell in his life

Picture by: Joe Portlock – Formulation 1

Shwartzman conquered FIA F3 title and welcomed the crew’s help throughout a troublesome spell in his life

Prema years: 2018-2021
Accolades: 2019 FIA Formulation 3 champion; 2021 FIA Formulation 2 runner-up

“My Prema story began on the finish of 2017. The primary time I did something with Prema was a Formulation 3 check at Magny-Cours. It was a bizarre feeling, I knew Prema was one of many greatest groups and once you enter in a superb crew it’s worthwhile to present a superb efficiency and do properly, so there was fairly a little bit of stress that day. From then on, we began working collectively from 2018 in F3.

“In the beginning, it was a little bit of a battle for me to get used to, however from the second half I discovered the stability and it was a tremendous journey with Prema. I loved it loads, we did a really good season in 2018, then we gained in F3 in 2019. Each seasons in F2 had been difficult, with COVID and for me personally as my father handed away, however Prema helped me loads get again in form and nonetheless carry out.

“It was a stunning journey and I miss these days, it was lots of enjoyable. I all the time mentioned the crew is a household to me and even now, I’m not a Prema driver anymore however I’m excellent associates with Rene and Angelina and the remainder of the crew. I’ve an excellent relationship with them and seeing them is all the time pretty.”

Frederik Vesti

Vesti finished runner-up in F2 last season after spending two seasons at ART

Picture by: Formulation Motorsport Ltd

Vesti completed runner-up in F2 final season after spending two seasons at ART

Prema years: 2019-2020, 2023
Accolades: 2019 Formulation Regional European champion; 2023 FIA Formulation 2 runner-up

“It began again in 2019 after I joined Prema in Formulation Regional. It was sort of a yr for me to organize and begin studying with the crew to hopefully obtain the Formulation 3 seat the next yr. I turned the champion with 13 wins in my first season with Prema, which is simply loopy reminiscences for me.

“Then stepping as much as F3 with Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri in 2020 is only a yr I’ll always remember. I bought three wins, I completed fourth within the championship and had a very sturdy yr. Then clearly returning 2023, coming again to combat for the F2 championship with my engineer from FRegional and F3, Pedro [Matos]. So it’s been a very cool yr, we didn’t win the championship however we got here very shut.

“After I left, I knew what I used to be abandoning and it wasn’t straightforward for me to step into a brand new crew, as a result of Prema is only a completely different crew. It’s the all-round actually sturdy folks serving to me out, the place in different groups I believe that’s their greatest problem. However that made it even higher coming again to Prema, as a result of I knew all the things, I knew the way it labored and what I wanted to do. So coming again to Prema was very straightforward for me and felt like residence inside someday.”

Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Mercedes prodigy Antonelli has skipped F3 and makes the giant leap to F2 this season with Prema

Picture by: Dutch Picture Company

Mercedes prodigy Antonelli has skipped F3 and makes the large leap to F2 this season with Prema

Prema years: 2021-present
Accolades: 2022 German/Italian Formulation 4 champion; 2023 European/Center East Formulation Regional champion

“I joined Prema in 2021 for the final 4 races of the Italian Formulation 4 championship, to get a style of the automobile as I did one of many massive steps, transferring from go-karts to F4. I did these races to get a style of how the races labored after which in 2022 I did my first full F4 season, I did the German and Italian championships and a few of the UAE championship. We did some nice outcomes by profitable each championships and I used to be actually grateful for my first full yr in automobiles.

“Then I did a step the yr after, transferring to Formulation Regional – all the time with Prema. This yr was a bit tougher as a result of I had an damage on the finish of final yr and missed winter testing, so I went to Formulation Regional UAE with out actually testing the automobile. I used to be in a position to be taught the automobile within the UAE championship, which I gained, so I may arrive ready for the European championship, after which I gained that championship as properly. Clearly one other nice yr, actually happy with the consequence and with the work finished with Prema.

“Subsequent yr goes to be an enormous step to F2 and I’m actually wanting ahead to that. Once more, with the ability to work with Prema is a superb alternative and I’m actually glad for that. I’ve constructed a very good relationship with the crew and I believe it’s necessary as a driver to maintain going with the identical crew. Figuring out how sturdy they’re within the class, I’ll have a superb likelihood to do properly, however I don’t wish to set any expectations – I simply wish to benefit from the expertise and attempt to do my finest.”

Marta Garcia

Garcia won the inaugural F1 Academy title for Prema, continuing its illustrious history of success

Picture by: Prema Powerteam

Garcia gained the inaugural F1 Academy title for Prema, persevering with its illustrious historical past of success

Prema years: 2023-present
Accolades: 2023 F1 Academy champion

“My Prema story began this yr round February or March. I bought a name from Rene asking me to return over, and I knew it was going to be thrilling racing F1 Academy with them. It’s nice to win to begin with the F1 Academy championship, but additionally to do it with Prema, as a result of it’s such a memorable crew with lots of historical past. It simply feels nice. On the finish of the day, it’s the outcomes which rely, and Prema clearly have actually good leads to each junior single-seater class, so actually pleased to win the primary F1 Academy championship with them.”

Prema's star-studded gala underlined the esteem the team is held in by its alumni

Picture by: Prema Powerteam

Prema’s star-studded gala underlined the esteem the crew is held in by its alumni

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